An enterprise resource planning (ERP) project plan requires several steps in order to be complete and executable. The first steps usually require software managers and developers, clients and management to discuss and come to agreement on major aspects and goals of the plan. Once the major points have been decided, the developers and anyone else working on the project can then begin filling in details and figuring out how they plan on reaching certain goals and deadlines. Finally, every department and person is given specific tasks which will help streamline the process and make sure the ERP project plan runs on time and within budget.
The initial stages of an ERP project plan generally involve all parties with stock in the outcome of the plan. This means many conversations and meetings with investors, clients and developers. Anybody who has a reason to be interested in the success of the plan should be consulted.
This process involves coming to an understanding of what each party would like and then creating project goals and milestones which will please everyone. It can be a difficult to get everyone’s views and expectations aligned, but it is important in order to avoid major problems once the plan moves forward. During this stage, things like project budget and time constraints are also forecast, with room left for errors or unforeseen issues.
The next part of an ERP project plan commonly only needs to involve those who will be executing the plan and management. During this stage, the general outline and budget of the plan are re-evaluated and details are filled in as to how the team will achieve each goal or deadline. It is decided exactly what needs to happen and when in order to best complete the project on time and with as little error as possible. Positions for project and division managers, if not already assigned, should be appointed at this time so everyone knows who is in charge of organizing their particular portion of the project.
Finally, the end portion of an ERP project plan requires individual teams, people or departments to map out the portions they are responsible for. Teams may assign each individual specific duties to be completed by certain dates or request that several individuals collaborate to make sure everything gets done well within time. Then the pieces are put together as they are completed in order for the whole department to meet the deadline for their part of the plan. It is very important for each team or individual to have a clear understanding of what is expected and when to avoid going over budget or missing deadlines.
Many times, ERP is hosted and maintained by a third-party company. One company has a need for ERP services and may hire a team or company that specializes in exactly what they need. In this situation, it is imperative that the two companies are in constant communication so expectations are clearly understood and met. If ERP hosting is done within one company, it is still very important that the department include upper management in an ERP project plan so it is not vetoed or disorganized later on.